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covid-19 Health Lifestyle personal safety safety wearables Tech

Sick of Quarantine? 8 Simple Steps to Go Out Safely

quarantine safely

Pandemic-related quarantine isn’t just annoying; it’s also a mental health problem. Global studies show that both adults and teens are negatively affected by staying indoors for long periods of time. And that’s not good for individuals, families, or communities.

Sure, you could wait until the emergence of a vaccine to reduce the risk of acquiring Covid-19 before leaving home. However, that could mean more months cooped up. Instead, rely on some technologically sound preventive measures and products to enable you to go out safely. 

Our team tried a few dozen popular ones. Here’s what we recommend:

1. Breathe in sanitized air wherever you go.

Do you worry about the possibility of inhaling contaminated air, especially in highly trafficked places like airports and train stations? A light-based sanitation tool called uvSABA delivers disinfected air right to your nose.

The uvSABA unit uses UVC light, which has been proven to change the genetic properties of viruses similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can also be carried around discreetly and used in conjunction with face masks and shields.

2. Wear jewelry that reminds you to stop touching your face.

One of the fastest ways to transfer pathogens to your nose or mouth is by touching your face. Yet it can be tough to stop the habit. That’s where a piece of unique jewelry could come in handy. 

The water-resistant Slightly Robot bracelet vibrates gently when you engage in unwanted behaviors, thanks to an internal accelerometer. It’s a fashionable, friendly reminder to keep your hands below your chin unless you’re securing a face mask.

3. Avoid hand-to-surface contact in germy places.

You’ve probably wondered whether you should be wearing some kind of protection on your hands. After all, opening doors and grabbing products off shelves can expose you to Covid-19 through surface contact. But walking around with gloves on might be uncomfortable.

One interesting, and potentially fashionable solution — is the ghluv. Like a toeless sock that goes around your wrist, the ghluv makes the world safe to the touch. Anytime you need a barrier between your hand and a surface, pull your ghluv around your fingers. It’s a surprisingly simple solution to carrying extra protective gear. Plus, it’s unlikely to get lost because it sits on your body.

4. Get an antimicrobial keychain tool.

The next time you’re forced to touch a keypad, forget about using your fingers. Instead, pull out an antimicrobial keychain tool. 

Many of these innovations have popped up since the beginning of coronavirus. Some of these key-shaped devices can even help you open certain doors.

Use your keychain not just for storing your house and car keys, but also to protect you from virus exposure. You’ll still want to have hand sanitizer as a backup, of course. But knowing that you’re touching fewer grimy places should give you peace of mind.

5. Cover your torso and head completely. 

Maybe you have a compromised immune system. If so, you may hesitate to go outside at all, even for walks in the park. Instead, consider the BioVYZR.

The BioVYZR forms a seal around your upper body and head. Pressured, filtered air is pushed into the headspace, and the air you exhale is forced out. A built-in, see-through visor gives you clear front and peripheral vision. Though a bit space-age in looks, the BioVYZR could be your ticket out of the house.

6. Download contactless payment apps.

Originally, contactless payment apps were touted as time-savers. Now, they may be literal lifesavers.

If you own a smartphone, you have all the hardware you need to make contactless payments. Still, you may have to open an account with a new financial provider to enjoy this service. 

Alternatively, get a contactless credit card. It’ll give you the same benefit and you won’t have to whip out your phone.

7. Bring bacteria-fighting bags to the store.

Perhaps you already bring your own bags with you when you go shopping. To protect yourself further, consider purchasing a reusable bag treated with proven antibacterial technology.

Be sure to research these bags before you buy them: Depending on the coating used, some are more effective than others.

Want another reason to reach for different bags? Antimicrobial versions can protect you against common problems associated with fabric ones, like salmonella and e-coli development.

8. Practice the six-foot rule.

A final, and decidedly low-tech but highly effective, way to protect yourself when you’re heading out during the pandemic is to practice the six-foot rule. Give anyone in your vicinity at least six feet of space to minimize viral transference. 

Many people don’t realize what six feet looks like. Give yourself an idea by taking a measuring implement — like a measuring tape — measuring it out. 

Already in the parking lot? Use your sedan as a guide. Cars are generally around six to seven feet wide. So make sure you have about a car width between you and non-family members while shopping or dining.

You don’t have to stay home all the time as the world recovers from Covid-19. You don’t even have to limit yourself to solo walks in empty parks. Enjoy life a little and de-stress—just make sure you’re taking your health seriously by practicing prevention.

Image credit: Anna Shvets; Pexels

The post Sick of Quarantine? 8 Simple Steps to Go Out Safely appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Connected Devices Health safety wearables workplace wearables

5 Safety Aspects to Include in Your Work Stack in the Age of COVID

female wearing mask covid

Though some companies have chosen to remain mainly virtual many organizations are bringing their employees back to their main physical locations. Although about half of team members say they’re worried about returning to in-person work arrangements, nearly three-quarters have confidence in their employers’ ability to keep them safe.

As an owner or top executive, those figures should both boost your spirit and cause a bit of pause. Yes, your workers are mostly open to the idea of working shoulder-to-shoulder — figuratively, of course. However, they’re counting on you to make wellness and welfare decisions that will protect them from foreseeable exposure to coronavirus and other communicable conditions.

Of course, you can meet both the demand to have an onsite cadre of personnel and put measures in place to lower their health risks. You simply have to put a little thought into boosting your work stack and processes.

Below are several tools and measures that can work to keep your workers productive and empowered, as well as assured that you’ve kept their needs in mind.

1. Self-reporting systems

Privacy is essential, but so is the importance of knowing who on your team might be contagious. Tools like TeamSense allow workers to self-identify any health issues they’re having in an encrypted format that will only be seen by the employer. Team members receive daily texts at home and can conveniently indicate red flags. 

Many people appreciate being able to send in daily symptom screening information discreetly rather than being examined or questioned in front of colleagues. Plus, staffers don’t need to download an app or give out anything other than a phone number to make the tool work.

2. Fast, touchless temperature checking 

Everyone’s been through the point-the-phaser-thermometer drill. It works, but it’s clunking and not exactly a timesaver. Plus, it requires that one employee be dedicated to doing nothing but performing temperature checks for an undefined amount of time whenever someone walks in the door. 

Devices like the FLIR Screen-EST camera and its lightning-fast skin temperature measuring ability have made it easier for corporate organizations, government agencies, and schools to evaluate large numbers of people in seconds. By adding a mounted thermal camera to your tech stack, you’ll free up workers—and free yourself from the possibility of human error.

3. Employee contact tracing

A huge part of containing and controlling COVID-19 has been instituting contact tracing whenever possible. As an employer, you can be a part of the solution by asking your workers to wear the POM Tracer device. Since the device is based on proximity, your employees can feel assured that their privacy is protected as the POM does not track employees or take personal information. Visitors can also be issued Pom Tracers to wear while in your building.

Once activated, the POM Tracer collects information on when and where employees crossed paths. It can also send alerts if two devices come within 6 feet as a reminder to social distance. If an individual later tests positive for coronavirus, the POM Tracer’s stores of information can be assessed to determine which colleagues might be at risk so they can get tested quickly.

4. Personal protective equipment

The age of the mask is upon us, and everyone from brands like Old Navy to independent Etsy sellers are making money selling unique, trendy mask wear. According to information from Johns Hopkins Medicine, just about any mask can provide some level of protection. Nevertheless, workers may not understand how to properly wear masks, have properly fitting masks, or keep their masks sanitized.

As an effort to put staffer safety ahead of profits, consider supplying workers with at least two masks as personal protective equipment (PPE). Treat the masks as part of a uniform. By standardizing and supplying face masks across your workforce, you remove any obstacles to people accessing safety gear. Worried you’ll get pushback from employees who see masks as a fashion statement? Think about creating a corporate mask that defines your strong culture.

5. Flexible scheduling

Across the country, many companies are seeing a rise in both retirement and absenteeism rates, especially in “essential� fields such as child care, health care and food production. In addition to actual COVID exposure, stress, childcare issues, and a general lack of flexibility all contribute to absenteeism. 

By partnering with a workforce management platform like MyWorkChoice, you can take your existing schedule format and use it to create flexible shifts with seamless shift transitions. This allows employees to set their own schedule of up to 40 hours per week, a benefit which 75 percent of hourly employees say would allow them to be less worried about going back to work. And if they have any sign of a COVID symptom, they can easily reschedule their shift to get tested, keeping your workplace safer.

Your people are eager to do their best work and help move your company forward. Take away their barriers to success by overlaying your old-norm processes with a few new-norm systems to foster a sense of security throughout your facility. Some of these tools may even support you in flu seasons to come, after COVID is in our rear-view mirror.

The post 5 Safety Aspects to Include in Your Work Stack in the Age of COVID appeared first on ReadWrite.